Auction Napa Valley 25 Raises in Excess of $10.5 Million
Influential Wine Charity Event Balances Change and Tradition Creating Most Successful Event to Date
6/5/2005 - St. Helena, Calif. - When the confetti cannons were installed earlier in the day, it was anyone's guess what the close of Auction Napa Valley 25 would bring -- but it was clear to everyone under the massive tent long before the gavel dropped on the final lot at $550,000 that the anniversary event was an unprecedented success; having raised $10.5 million in Auction revenue. Visit http://www.napavintners.com/auctions/wineauction.html for Auction results and event details.
"Knowing that this was a year of big, and often controversial, changes, we were fully prepared to end the night announcing a very conservative number," says Dan Duckhorn, co-chair of Auction Napa Valley 25. "To have actually exceeded our high water mark seems simultaneously inconceivable and totally appropriate. When we held the first Auction in '81 we were amazed by the outpouring of support from our guests. Year 25 marked a new beginning, and here we are again, completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the bidders at this very special event."
The Auction kicked off on Thursday, June 2 with a series of intimate events spread throughout the Valley, designed to showcase the legendary wines and hospitality of Napa vintners. Guests selected from a variety of soirees ranging from Beringer's 25 year vertical tasting of Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon to an intimate Paella dinner under the stars at Pride Mountain Vineyards. (Click here to see the hospitality events.) Several wineries opted to auction off exclusive lots during their hospitality events, bringing in a total of $171,650.
On Friday, June 3, more than 3,000 guests, including well-heeled out-of-towners, vintners, and community members attended the first-ever Friday Auction & Festival at Trinchero Family Estates. A thousand single tickets to the Friday Auction & Festival at $150 each sold out in five days, with 90 percent being snapped up by community members, who received a 50% Napa Neighbor discount of $75. (Click here to see details of the Friday Auction & Festival.)
Attendees took full advantage of some brand-new Auction features at the event, including a "ring toss" featuring a variety of Napa Valley wines, and a groundbreaking new approach to the silent auction concept. Registered bidders placed bids on "e-auction" lots at sleek, touch screen kiosks located throughout the grounds and high bids were tracked on giant 9x12 foot screens. The new high-tech approach raised three times the amount of the 2004 silent auction, closing out at $179,800.
On a more familiar front, guests enjoyed offerings from 64 restaurants and specialty food purveyors, and 134 Napa wineries at the Pride of Napa Valley tasting; and the longtime favorite barrel auction featured a record 106 lots. A highlight of the day came when the Staglin Family Vineyards barrel drew ten $20,000 bids plus one additional bid for $21,000 on an eleventh case offered by the vintner on the spot. At $221,000, lot 292 made Auction Napa Valley history; and the overall barrel auction fundraising total for five hours came to $1,132,100.
Friday evening and Saturday morning brought additional opportunities for full-package ticket holders to enjoy the hospitality of Napa Valley Vintners. Friday night events ranged from ultra-intimate (dinner for ten with hosts Robert and Margrit Mondavi), to the ultra-extraordinary (Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Grgich Hills recreate the legendary 1976 Paris tasting with host George Taber); while Saturday events focused on bringing bidders and Auction beneficiaries together and setting the stage for the Saturday Live Auction.
Under the gracious oaks of Meadowood, a thousand guests made their way to the main tent and the Live Auction began at 6 pm with Jay Leno keeping the mood light. Following his opening monologue, the legendary entertainer stayed on, assisting Auctioneers Fritz Hatton and Ursula Hermacinski with the first several lots.
The evening began with a bang, when lot 401 - a gift from Marvin Shanken, publisher of Wine Spectator -- brought $235,000, topping the 2004 Auction's top bid by $15,000. Bidding and spirits remained high throughout the course of the three-and-a-half hour Auction, and additional highlights included: fierce bidding on lot 407, the Frank Family Vineyards lot featuring a walk-on part in Desperate Housewives with star Teri Hatcher joining in the fun; the much anticipated lot 414, which included an opportunity to make wine with legendary brothers Robert and Peter Mondavi and sold for $401,000; and the top lot of the night, 454, four bottles of Colgin Cellars and dinner for eight.
When the final toast was made, the general consensus among bidders, vintners and volunteers seemed to be that the many changes made for 2005 had been successful, breathing new life and energy into the seminal event and paving the way for a strong future. "Raising this level of money for our beneficiaries is an obvious success and we are thrilled," says Joel Aiken, president of the board of directors, "But perhaps even more exciting for so many of us is that our vision of a revitalized event was so well received. I mean, we raised a lot of money here tonight - but we also had a heck of a lot of fun!"
Auction Total: $10,539,050*
* does not yet include revenue from Barrel Art Napa Valley. This ANV 25 program is currently on display throughout Napa Valley, with pieces scheduled for auction in fall of 2005.
To view complete ANV 25 results, please visit www.napavintners.com.
From 1981-2004, Auction Napa Valley has contributed more than $52 million to local organizations, becoming one of the most impressive and influential wine charity fundraisers in the world by staying true to its original mission - to utilize the reputation of Napa Valley wines to enhance the well being of the community. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Auction, all previous event chairs (23 families in all) returned to make Auction Napa Valley 25 the most memorable event to date. For more information about Napa Valley Vintners or Auction Napa Valley, please visit www.napavintners.com.
Contact: CONTACT: Terry Hall Direct: 707-968-4217 email@example.com